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JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

ENGL 328: Metaphor, Language, and Thought (Dr. Barbara Dancygier): Final Project
Greetings! For my final project, I have decided to focus on the artwork of Daehyun Kim ()
Brief Project Outline:

I will first provide a biography on the artist and relevant information pertaining to his
artwork

I will then present each piece (there are three in total), describe it, and introduce any
themes
o I will then discuss underlying theoretical concepts and inputs at work that form the
megablend (PLEASE ZOOM IN ON THIS DOCUMENT AT 200%+ TO VIEW THE IMAGES CLEARLY!)

Daehyun Kim ()
Born in Seoul in 1980, Daehyun is a South Korean artist based in Seoul who goes by Moonassi and has
dedicated himself to his Moonassi series since university; he describes the series as his life-time project:
The series is my lifetime project. There is no specific background story or a theory about the drawing. Each
drawing is created based on my daily thoughts and feelings. I draw to meditate on myself and others, and to
be able to see the whole story of the series in the end When people call me Moonassi, its like if they are
calling someone who has no identity.

Daehyun studied oriental painting and draws from Buddhist paintings in which faces lack expression:
I thought that the face is perfect to conceal their feelings because I dont want to show directly if these
characters are good or bad through their faces. The simple black suit which looks like underwear has been
chosen in order to make you only focus on their gestures. I purposely dont show the time, place or gender.

Sample Art

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

Image 1/3:

Teardrop Competition (2010, ) Or Grief Competition


Description:
Two figures sit across from each other as a
balancing scale rests between them. The
figure on the left expressionlessly cries
teardrop-shaped shards into the left pan
of a balancing scale, as the figure on the
right expressionlessly gazes on at the
spectacle. Presently, more shards are in
the right pan, so the scales hand points to
the right.

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

The original title of the artwork is in Korean, as that is the artists mother tongue. When roughly
translated, reads as grief competition, rather than the teardrop competition
that literally takes place.

NOTE: Although Daehyuns mother tongue is Korean, he is fluent in English.

The image can thus be expressed by two inputs: (1) Balancing scale and (2) Grief.
What emerges is a novel blend about relative grief and consequently, empathy.
In the first input, the balancing scale, we bear the following knowledge:

A scale does not measure the absolute weight, but the relative weight between two pans

When one side outweighs the other, the pan is brought closer to the ground, and a needle
points in the heavier sides direction

The most salient mapping related to a scale is:


o SIGNIFICANCE IS WEIGHT (the more weight, the more significant the material)

In the second output, grief, we bear the following knowledge:

Everyone experiences grief differently

One expression that comes out of feeling grief is shedding tears

Crying emits tears that are often (and appropriately) tear-shaped; tears are uniform in
shape

The most salient mapping related to scales and grief is:

(HAPPY IS UP)

SAD IS DOWN (you look down, if your scales pan is down then you are sad)

The emergent structure thus describes a competition between two figures, in which
producing more teardrop-shaped shards (metonymically representing grief) than the other is
desirable. The artwork conjures a natural question, Why would you want to win the competition
of feeling more poorly than another? To answer that question, we need to consider relative grief
or rather, empathy. When someone experiences sadness and tells their friend about it,
sometimes that friend will lack empathy and remind the sad person that there are others feeling
and doing worse, delegitimizing the pain that person may be experiencing.

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

Similarly, if one is to win the competition by crying more tears, i.e., feeling more pain than
the other, what kind of worth do the losers tears bear; is their existing sadness legitimate, or
is sadness relative and therefore only relevant to those who bear sadness the most? According to
the metaphor SIGNIFICANCE IS WEIGHT, the grief belonging to the winner of the competition
would hold more significance than the sadness of the loser. This image thus presents a critique
of one framework/approach to how we view and effectively value and rate sadness.
Image 2/3:

A Path (2009, ) Or Length of Time (when translated through Google Translate)

Description:
A single thread joins two figures who are
seated far apart from one another. The
figure on the left observes as the figure
on the right cuts the thread joining them
together with scissors. It is unknown if
the figure on the right is aware that the
figure on the left is watching this taking
place.

The original title of the artwork is in Korean, as that is the artists mother tongue. When roughly
translated, reads as Period or Length of Time, rather than the given name, A Path.

The image can thus be expressed by two inputs: (1) Thread and (2) Relationship.
What emerges is a novel blend about the intricacies of a relationship.
In the first input, the thread, we bear the following knowledge:

A thread can only be taut and straight if held onto by both sides

A thread can be broken if pressure is applied (ex. pulled apart, cut apart)

In the second input, the relationship, we bear the following knowledge:

A relationship emerges from a connection between two people

A relationship is time-sensitive; it can exist in the past but not in the future (and vice versa)

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

A relationship is formally ended or broken when one or more parties decides it does

The most salient mapping related to a relationship is:


o INTIMACY IS CLOSENESS

Thus, a lack of intimacy is indicated by a lack of closeness

The most salient mapping related to thread and relationship is:

RELATIONSHIPS ARE PHYSICAL TIES OR LINKS (i.e. thread)


Thus, the emergent structure describes how the physical tie between the two figures that is

their relationship, can be ended by cutting ties. Moreover, this blend points out that the
relationship does not require both actors to end the relationship; rather, this can be initiated and
carried out by one person if necessary.
The title of the piece is A Path this evokes the idea that the thread not only represents
the relationship between these two people (RELATIONSHIPS ARE PHYSICAL TIES OR LINKS), but
also stands in for the path upon which these two people are travelling on together. This
particular notion evokes the mapping MEANS ARE PATHS as well any potential mappings that
make up location ESMs, particularly from the Journey frame.
Finally, the alternative title Length of Time appropriately ties together both inputs, Thread
and

Relationship:

relationship

is

made up of a length of time that is


measured

by

when

the

relationship

begins and ends (length of thread ends


when it is cut).
Image 3/3:

Random Access Memories (2013,


)

Description:

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

Two figures don welding helmets and perform soldering work on a bust, which is made up small, flat
pieces. These circular pieces hang on lines and can be easily accessed. The bust and the soldering iron are
wired to a computer.

This image is polysemous in that its multiplicity in meaning expects the reader to bear knowledge
about computer hardware, as the title of the piece is a slight adjustment from the term random
access memory, better known as RAM. RAM is a temporary form of data storage and the
memory is designed to be accessed repetitively and in any order.

RAM thus allows information to be read and written, regardless of the order it is accessed.

The image can thus be expressed by two inputs: (1) Computer memory, (2) Human memory.
What emerges is a novel blend about memory.
In the first input, computer memory, we bear the following knowledge:

The computer is a information-carrying device; the information is read & transmitted in


binary

In the computer, this data/information can be saved as memory, temporarily so as RAM

As RAM, this memory can thus be accessed in any order and many times over

In the second input, human memory, we bear the following knowledge:

Memory is not tangible, but a concept that refers to the process of remembering

Despite the conceptual nature of memory, it is often described as something one has
o I wish I had memory as good as yours, That was sad, dont hold onto that
memory

The most salient mappings related to memory are:


o THE MIND IS A CONTAINER, and
o

IDEAS (or potentially, memories) ARE OBJECTS that can be put into this container
* NOTE: The primary metaphor UNDERSTANDING IS GRASPING (ex. dont hold onto that

memory) is also relevant, but comparatively less so beside these two other metaphors.

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)

Internally, the human brain is partially made up of memories which are conceptual. We
understand this through the notion that the MIND IS A CONTAINER and the IDEAS (memories)
ARE OBJECTS we can put into this container, the mind.
The most salient mappings related to both humans and computers are:

PEOPLE ARE COMPUTERS and COMPUTERS ARE PEOPLE, and

HUMAN COGNITIVE PROCESSING IS COMPUTER INFORMATION PROCESSING


Whats interesting about the prevalence of these metaphors, beside the image of interest, is

that within at least the English language, we do not try to understand human emotional response
in terms of computer structure. And yet, these object event structure metaphors emerge because
both computers and people bear abstract structures that may not be physically experienced, but
can be inferred from behaviour. Consequently, in the image, we understand that the head (brain)
is made up of these small circles that metaphorically represent memories. These memories, like
RAM, can be accessed by the worker on the right, and soldered (or kept and retained as
memories) onto the head (i.e. brain) by the worker on the right.

Links
Moonassi series:
http://www.moonassi.com
Moonassi (Daehyun Kim) biography:

http://www.moonassi.com/about

JESSICA TAM (#20778130)